I can relate to some of which John Diamond writes about: The situation when someone asks, "How are you?". Usually the response is, "Fine, and you?" or something like that. He struggled with trying to build up to it slowly, but finally just said, "I've got cancer."
I have on occasion said, "Do you want the euphemism or the truth?" Some people don't need or even want to know. It's just social lubrication. But with friends, I have to fill them in. So like him, I tell them and then soften it with some comforting notions. Often the response is a comforting story of how cancer is often cured these days, chemo is not so bad, and that, being me, I'll beat it as I have before. I agree and appreciate these, but like him, an argumentative voice inside sometimes says, "Yes, but I've still got cancer, and I may well survive, but on the other hand I might not." Because I'm not one to have blind hope, I have to be honest with myself, I have to prepare myself for the outcome I certainly don't want - just in case.
Actually, I am feeling optimistic at the moment. I feel well since the symptoms of infection have cleared up and I have a spring in my step instead of dragging myself along.
Musing on this, there is a little 5 year old girl called Brooke who I see at the cafe where I take my morning coffee. She scarcely ever just walks. She skips and hops with joy and a freedom of movement of which I'm sure she is not conscious.
I have been remembering how when I was very young I would do the sack race, the egg and spoon race, and sprint races at Sunday School picnics, I would do hand stands, back bends, and cartwheels just for the fun of it, and at high school I could compete in the hurdles and even mastered the forward roll method of high jump!
I'm not sure of the point of this rambling. I guess I'd like to regain some of that joy of effortless movement.
Another thought I've had: hypochodriacs probably avoid getting serious illnesses more than those who 'put up with it'. They get things checked out and even if it is often a pointless exercise, sometimes something gets caught in time. I should have checked out the pain and lump in the iliac fossa before it progressed to a full blown infection. It would have saved time and a week or so of horrid symptoms. But, no, I dismissed it. Nothing to worry about, I thought, probably just a normal residual effect of the surgery, just get on with it.
Like John Diamond in the initial stages of his cancer, I go for consultations etc in the oncology dept and wonder what the hell I'm doing there. It's not a place where I'd envisaged hanging out. But it is a warm and friendly environment, and I'm getting used to it.